Friends of the Earth delegation barred from Copenhagen climate talks

Friends of the Earth campaigners have been suspended from the Copenhagen climate talks as part of a security clampdown on protesters.

Copenhagen: scene of the climate talks
Copenhagen: scene of the climate talks

Every member of the environmental charity’s international campaign group arrived at the Bella Centre (where the talks are taking place) this morning, to find their badges were no longer valid.

The delegation has been taking part in negotiations for the past two weeks calling for a strong and fair agreement.

But security is intensifying in the city, amid fears that protesters will try to invade the centre in a mass protest as world leaders arrive at the conference.

The charity is petitioning UN climate secretary Yvo De Boer to protest against the ban, and is calling for its supporters and members of the public to add their name at www.foe.co.uk.

‘It is a crisis of democracy when campaigning charities like Friends of the Earth are prevented from speaking up on behalf of communities around the globe within the talks themselves’, said FOE’s executive director Andy Atkins.
 
‘We were stunned to discover that every Friends of the Earth delegate has been banned from attending these crucial talks - if this is a consequence of our role as one of the most prominent groups calling for a strong and fair agreement, this is even more disturbing. This draconian measure is completely unjustified - the Copenhagen conference is fast becoming an international shambles’, he said.

Other NGOs including Tck Tck Tck and Avaaz.org have suffered a similar fate. Avaaz.org's executive director Ricken Patel said: 'Today at the climate talks in Copenhagen, they're taking in leaders and putting the people out. Beyond any particular organization, there will be a massive reduction in the civil society voice within the summit, just when it needs to be heard the most, as leaders arrive. This move hurts democracy and will undermine the pressure on leaders to sign a fair, ambitious and binding deal in Copenhagen.'

 

 

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